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IMEWE cable goes live in Lebanon

The cable is to boost internet connectivity and help in reducing pricing.

IMEWE cable goes live in Lebanon
The operation of IMEWE cable in Lebanon is to enable operators to utilise it for mobile data services.

Lebanon has finally made the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) submarine cable go live that will give the country's internet service providers and operators the needed capacity to provide faster internet services including 3G.

"The tap was closed, and now it's open," Antoine Boustany, an adviser to telecoms minister Nicolas Sehnawi was quoted saying in a local newspaper, The Daily Star.

A telecommunications ministry statement quoted that Sehnawi would present a draft bill to the Cabinet in the coming three weeks that would reduce the prices of internet services in the country.

Habib Torbey, the head of the Lebanese telecom association and president of GlobalCom Data Services that groups all of the country's private ISPs, said that the ministry contacted ISPs to inform them that capacity they had requested several months ago from the IMEWE submarine cable was now available. "This will really change the Internet landscape in Lebanon," he added.

The landing station of the IMEWE cable system in Lebanon had been scheduled to go live in December last year but it was postponed by the IMEWE consortium controlling the supply due to a dispute between the telecoms ministry, then headed by Charbel Nahhas, and OGERO, the semi-autonomous company responsible for administering telecoms in the country.

In January the ministry announced plans to bring in 3G technology into the market via operators Alfa and MTC within seven months, and Nahhas said that the network will require significantly more capacity and hence will be utilising the IMEWE cable. Unlike government-owned Alfa and MTC, internet service providers currently pay some $3,000 for a line which costs the government $100 to supply, the report added.

The 13,000 kilometre IMEWE cable runs between India and France that has a potential capacity of 3.84 TB per second.

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